Tips from nutrition experts: This makes it easier for you to avoid sugar

It doesn’t have the best reputation – and yet many cannot leave it alone: ​​sugar. It may be worth considering reducing sugar consumption. How do you go about it?

But let’s start at the beginning: “Sugar is basically a building material that we need,” says Antonia Stahl, nutritionist in Falkensee.

Sugar is one of the carbohydrates. The body needs the simple sugar glucose, for example, to keep the brain, muscle cells and other processes running.

First of all, sugar is neither good nor bad, but simply an energy supplier for the body. It gets a bit more complicated with everything that is commonly understood by sugar, says Stahl.

Multiple sugars are healthier

The types of sugar glucose (dextrose) and fructose (fruit sugar), for example, are so-called simple sugars. They are found in fruit, but also in honey.

The classic table sugar – also known under the name sucrose – is a double sugar, i.e. consists of two simple sugars.

All of these sugars are short-chain carbohydrates, making them readily available to the body. This means that the blood sugar level rises quickly, resulting in a high insulin release.

And then there are polysaccharides, which consist of several sugar molecules. They are more difficult to get rid of by the body and therefore tend to be a bit healthier, as nutritionist Stahl explains.

However: multiple sugars do not really please the sweet tooth. Because they are found, for example, in vegetables or whole grain products – which do not necessarily satisfy our sweet cravings.

Industrial sugar: high in calories but low in nutrients

So sugar comes in many forms: However, the body does not need the typical industrial sugar that is found in products, says Antonia Stahl.

The carbohydrates from vegetables, fruit and whole grain products, for example, are completely sufficient for the body to generate energy.

Sugar should make up a maximum of ten percent of the total energy intake per day, explains Silke Restemeyer from the German Society for Nutrition (DGE). With an energy intake of 2000 calories, that is a maximum of 50 grams of sugar.

This maximum ten percent includes all added sugars, but also the sugar that occurs in honey or fruit juices. The sugar in fruit and natural yoghurt is not included.

Sugar is hidden in many products

A piece of chocolate is not a problem with an otherwise balanced diet, says nutrition expert Restemeyer.

However, according to nutritionist Stahl, it becomes critical if you consume large amounts of added sugar every day. This increases the risk of obesity, diabetes and tooth decay.

Picture gallery: There are so many sugar cubes in these products

However, cutting out refined sugar is a little trickier than just cutting out the candy. Because sugar is often added to cheese, sausage and yoghurt for flavor, as Stahl explains.

Frozen pizzas, barbecue sauces or potato salad from the supermarket also often contain considerable amounts of sugar, says nutritionist Silke Restemeyer from the DGE.

Wean yourself off the sugar in small increments

Of course, the best choice is natural, unprocessed food. Especially at the beginning it is anything but easy to do without sugar. Stahl advises starting small.

The first step is to develop an awareness of sugar levels by reading nutrient charts while shopping.

If processed products have a maximum of five grams of sugar per 100 grams, they are suitable for a low-sugar diet.

You can start by establishing one low-sugar meal a day. A healthy breakfast – such as oatmeal with milk and fruit instead of chocolate muesli – is a good start to the day and a good start to a change in diet.

If you have the first meal under control, you can switch another to sugar-free, recommends nutritionist Stahl. Over time, this reduces the craving for sugar.

Sweeteners also feed the sweet tooth

And when it comes to drinks – can it make sense to use a sugar-free soft drink with sweeteners? Sweeteners such as aspartame are not sugar, do not cause tooth decay and have hardly any calories.

But: In larger quantities, they can have a laxative effect, says Restemeyer. And: They are not helpful when it comes to weaning yourself from cravings for sweets. So a water with fresh lemon and mint is better.

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